Aloha Big Island

Back in my studio and in front of my gray computer, I’m thinking back to my last week in Hawaii….

….recalling the distantly familiar, aching feeling of leaving a place of such profound beauty and inspiration….

Oh, how I wish I was there! 

It was my first visit to the Big Island, and I was enticed to stay for three days with a show at Lahaina Galleries’ beautiful Mauna Lani venue.

I felt wholeheartedly embraced by gallery Director Chris Cornis and sales consultants Kim Norman and Stephanie Ansley.
The spacious gallery is situated in the Shops at Mauna Lani and beautifully presents Lahaina Galleries’ many talented artists.

Mahalo to Chris, Kim and Stephanie for an exciting and successful first visit to the gallery!

Chris Cornis, Lahaina Galleries Mauna Lani Director

The Island of Hawaii impressed me with its wide open vistas and immense natural diversity.

It is the third largest island in Polynesia, and with the lava flows of Mauna Loa and Kilauea, it continues to grow larger every year. 

I am awestruck by the vast history of this planet and how the dynamic forces of nature conspire to create life. Last summer in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides I touched some of the oldest rock formations on the planet.

Now I was walking amongst lava flows just a few years old, and fresh coral beaches in the making.

And Life seizes at the opportunity to establish a foothold….

with time and the elements forming the splendid beaches, forests and grassy hillsides of all but four of the planet’s climate zones.

Sun lounging sea turtle on Puako’s beach

Hawaiian sea turtles grazing on the reefs of Puako

Although my first visit was only three days, I was able to get a glimpse of the amazing beauty of this island and feel a profound sense of human and natural history.

It is easy to see how the original inhabitants of this island found all they needed to survive, and thrive to further settle the rest of the Hawaiian islands. 

The view was as splendid then as it is now…..

The ancient fish ponds of Mauna Lani, still in use to this day.

Aloha Island of Hawai’i…

My first visit was too short but abundantly sweet.

Sunset in Hawi town

You are indeed the Big Island with enormous natural diversity, a deep culture and big hearted people, all of which I encountered, and left me so beautifully inspired.

Mahalo, I’ll be back c:

“Hawaiiana Red Ginger II” 28″x16″ oil on canvas at Lahaina Galleries

“Hawaiiana Red Ginger I” 28″x16″ oil on canvas at Lahaina Galleries

Hawaiian Sunset Bliss 12″x4″ oil painting at Lahaina Galleries

“Hula Heaven Hibiscus” 20″x20″ oil painting at Lahaina Galleries

“Kona Coffee” 10″x10″ oil painting at Lahaina Galleries

“Trade Wind Palm” 16″x8″ oil painting at Lahaina Galleries

Summer 2016: Scotland… of Water Fairies and Sea Kelpies

Water is everywhere in Scotland…

Falling from the sky, flowing into the rivers, cascading from the waterfalls, then to the lochs, and returning eventually to the sea.

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The Falls of Arrochar

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Tarbet, Loch Lomond

My many travels as a surfer have taken me to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I never expected the beaches of Scotland to be some of the most impressive.
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Dunure, Ayreshire

Of course Scotland, with its many islands, inlets and bays, has infinite coastlines, all unique and different from each other, but one thing they have in common from my observation:
In summer the beaches are almost empty.
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South Beach of Ayr

What a delight to find vast stretches of sand and shores deserted, serene and quiet in the middle of summer!
The quiet calm offered me numerous occasions to partake in one of my favorite past times, beach combing.
So often in my travels I have been on coastlines of stunning surf, fabulous waves and fantastic vistas when my eye inevitably returns its gaze to the ground as I compulsively scan the beach for my own personal treasures.
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 The beaches of Scotland offered up many many fascinating objects, most of which I must return to the sea…IMG_5881…but some, really unique in their forms. After years of tumbling on the shores, broken crockery and glass are beautiful to behold and pique my curiosity.

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My beachcombing obsession proved infectious with our little crew… and at our last supper together we covered the kitchen table with our own personal discoveries…
Truly one man’s trash is another’s treasure!!!

Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_5877 Glimpses into the past: I wonder how these objects looked intact, who made them, who used them, and what for? and what caused their ultimate demise? A slip, a fall, a chip or a nick and then no longer useful, they are cast into the wastebin of history.

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This was one of my personal favorites: A piece of bone found at Shandwick beach during low tide. I picked it up and immediately felt that it could be a handle of some kind.

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Shandwick, Easter Ross, Highlands

The site of numerous battles throughout history, Shandwick is now tranquil and serene. My imagination wandered…I could not help but wonder was this a dead soldier’s cast away cutlass handle or the residue of some holiday maker’s picnic lunch???

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In any case, the bone is a keeper, as are the other small wonders: a plush toy (now washed and cleaned) for Murphy, IMG_5577_2
 
And yes, a brick! Our Mill house in Tuscany is called Piccolo Molino… Little Mill. And thanks to our Italian friends Gaetano and Fabio it was portaged to Italy, where it will live somewhere in our garden.
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All these questions, musings and images add to my creative inspiration. The deep sense of history in this land cannot be ignored. It reveals itself in the marvels of nature and in the marks of man.

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Dunure Castle, the Labyrinth

Myth and legend combine to add to the magical sense of this place of wonder and awe. Stories of Sea Kelpies, Water Fairies, Blue Men, Mermaids and Mermen… it is so easy to let the mind wander and be driven to flights of fancy…
Murphy's first sea ferry.. to the Outer Hebrides

Murphy’s first sea ferry.. to the Outer Hebrides

Our travels have now led us to the Outer Hebrides – on the isles of Lewis and Harris, the location for John’s latest film project.

At Latitude 57, it is the furthest north I have ever been. The islands are sparse in vegetation and dominated by the stretches of peat which cover the land.

Luskentyre Beach

Luskentyre Beach

But the beaches here were what lured me… as did the Seonaidh
or Shoney… the water spirits of ancient Hebredian lore.
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It was Luskentyre beach that enchanted us most… and with it, the legend of the Fairy Hound, whose large paw prints can be seen on the beach and then mysteriously disappear.Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_0109
Certainly one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. IMG_6192_2 IMG_6189_2 Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_6194Miles of  pristine, white and pink sand perfection, and spans of emerald green turquoise water.Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_0178_2
And like most Scottish beaches, dog friendly.
Murphy was in his element, our own little Fairy Hound!
My Shoney.. Johnny the Blue Man and Little Fairy Hound Murphy

My Shoney.. on location with Johnny the Blue Man and Little Fairy Hound Murphy

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The light here changes from moment to moment, as the Isles are so exposed to the open waters of the Atlantic.  Clouds and weather come and go, making for countless wonderful compositions for me to paint.Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_1057

I could have stayed on Harris for an entire summer… but my photographs will remind me of the wonder and majesty of these shorelines. Zimmermann-Luskentyre-2 I will revisit them with joy as I paint.

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Scarista Beach, Harris

 
 Such a perfect place for me,Zimmermann-Luskentyre

the Crab, as I must always return to the the Sea.

"Tropical Cloud Sky" 30"x30" at Lahaina Galleries

“Tropical Cloud Sky” 30″x30″ at Lahaina Galleries

“Western Isle Beach”
at Graham Fine Art

Twenty Studio Stories….

I’ve painted outdoors and I’ve painted indoors… on location and in studios all over the world. People often ask me: Which do I prefer? Is one more authentic? Is the other easier? Over the years I’m thinking it is all up to the individual, what gets you stoked as a painter, what inspires your process.

MFA Studio: Oakland, CA

MFA Studio: Oakland, CA

I suppose that when it comes to art studios, I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked in some amazing spaces in the world. Some were corners in a room, others covered patios, basements, cantinas, spare rooms, garages and shared spaces with other artists. Some spaces I have lived and slept in, some had great surf and snowboarding right outside the door. Some studios have been the backdrop for tea parties, holiday parties, and art shows…others transformed into movie sets for numerous film projects. From the ancient olive mill in Tuscany to the the old Del Monte Cannery in San Francisco, all these spaces impart their energy into my work and inspire in their own unique ways.
In this, my 30th year as a professional artist, I’m looking back at those places with many fond recollections. The hundreds if not thousands (!) of paintings I have created over those years!
Click on any of the images below to view the slideshow.. and please check back to read more blog posts about each location, what kind of inspiration it brought to me and how it affected my work.
The studio, that space with all the energy it brings to me is a silent collaborator in my creative process, looking back at these images there is no doubt in my mind about that. My special thanks to the best studio mates ever: John Charles Jopson, Sandra Jones Campbell, Ratso, Renzo, Murphy…and of course, the first of my many Muses, Bird.

Caroline Zimmermann: Lahaina Galleries Solo Show

Caroline Zimmermann’s Lahaina Galleries Solo Exhibition, February 27, 2016

Information and enquiries:

Lahaina Galleries At Fashion Island
1173 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
800.788.5008/949.721.9117
www.lahainagalleries.com   lgi@maui.net

Click on any image to enlarge:

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Lahaina Galleries 39th Anniversary Show

Caroline-Zimmermann-Lahaina_2187This last weekend I had the honour of exhibiting my work at Lahaina’s 39th Anniversary Show. Along with seven other master artists, we celebrated with some of Lahaina Galleries’ patrons and collectors at a private unveiling the evening before.

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All of the works were carefully hung and veiled to provide maximum excitement and anticipation…

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After a wonderful introduction from the Lahaina Team, I spoke briefly about my newest creation…

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My “Blue Mediterranean” Triptych was then unveiled.

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Caroline-Zimmermann-Lahaina_2201 “Blue Mediterranean” made a long journey to be included in this unveiling. I began working on the painting in my studio in Tuscany and continued to work on it throughout the summer in my pop-up studio in Oxford.

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“Blue Mediterranean Triptych” 39” X 60” Available at Lahaina Galleries

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“Kihei Beach Driftwood” 32” X 47”

“Kihei Beach Driftwood” 32” X 47” Available at Lahaina Galleries

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This is truly why I do what I do: Pure Joy. I was thrilled to be able to meet the new owners of my “Mediterranean Blues: Cleopatra’s Baths” and “Mediterranean Blues Beach”. Both pieces are going to an excellent home.

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“Mediterranean Blues: Cleopatra’s Baths” 47” x 36” Lahaina Galleries

“Mediterranean Blues: Cleopatra’s Baths”
47” x 36” Lahaina Galleries

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“Mediterranean Blues Beach” 32″ x 47″

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“Hanalei Sunset Dream” 12″ x 12″ Available at Lahaina Galleries

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“Tahitian Still Life” 11″ x 24″  Available at Lahaina Galleries

Caroline-Zimmermann_2226Celebrating a great turnout and fantastic sales with LGI consultant Kasey Solesbee. Well Done Kasey!

“Sunset at Turtle Bay” 28” X 47”

“Sunset at Turtle Bay” 28” X 47” Available at Lahaina Galleries

Caroline-Zimmermann-Lahaina_2249Lovely shot of artist Dario Campanile and his fiancee’ Patricia. Mahalos!

Caroline-Zimmermann-Lahaina_2240Many compliments to Jim and Nancy Killett for their 39th year of beautifying the world with Lahaina Galleries. I’ll do my best to help them with their efforts for many many more!

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New Paintings at Lahaina Galleries

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“Mediterranean Reflections” 38” x 40” Oil on Canvas

An exhibition of new works by Caroline Zimmermann at the Lahaina Galleries in Newport Beach, California from March 7, 2015.

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“Cloud Sky II” Maldives  – Oil on Canvas 30″ X 30″

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“Chianti Harvest Colors” 30”x40” Oil on Canvas

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“Vintage Crystal Cove” Laguna Beach  30″ X 40”  Oil on Canvas

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“Mediterranean Blues: Cleopatra’s Baths”  47” x 36”  Oil on Canvas

“Mediterranean Blues: Cleopatra’s Baths”
47” x 36” Oil on Canvas

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“Beyond Crystal Cove” Laguna Beach  20”x 59” Oil on Canvas

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“North Shore Blue Wave” 36″ X 48″ Limited Edition Print

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“Reflections of Tuscany” Bagno Vignoni, Tuscany 38” X 40” Oil on Canvas

"Return to Wood's Cove" 17” X 40” Oil on Canvas

“Return to Wood’s Cove”
17” X 40” Oil on Canvas

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“Poppies and Grain” 30”x40” Oil on Canvas

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“Sunflowers in a Summer Breeze” 24”x40” Oil on Canvas

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“The Conversation” 40”x40”  Oil on Canvas

“The Conversation”
40”x40” Oil on Canvas

“Little Drake”  20”x16” Oil on Canvas

“Little Drake”
20”x16” Oil on Canvas

To enquire about any of these paintings please don’t hesitate to email Lahaina Galleries or call (800) 228-2006.

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Hollister Ranch Hoedown 2014

Summer’s End at the Hollister Ranch. The Hollister Hoedown Fundraiser returns. Ranch locals come from near and far to carry on a tradition. Once again, I am honored to be included.

Hollister-Ranch-HoedownThis years event began with clear, glassy conditions. Soaring summer temperatures with no sign of June Gloom.  The heat was on!

My work hangs for sale with 40 other local artists. Proceeds from all sales benefit the Hollister Ranch Fire Department.

As in previous years, Jackson Browne was in attendance and in fantastic form.

“Low Tide Ranch Painting” sold to Jackson Browne and Dianna Cohen

Jackson’s sound check was fabulous and he is sounding better than ever. But the notorious Ranch winds kicked up at 4, and due to the powerful winds, the events had to be cut short.

“Summer Set Wave, Hollister Ranch” Lahaina Galleries

It was Murphy’s first visit to the Ranch, he fully embraced the endless stretches of beach.

“Solstice Morning Swell” SOLD

“Morning Tide, San Augustine” SOLD

Truly exposed and at the mercy of Nature, its what makes the Ranch a unique place on earth.

“West of the Gate, Hollister Ranch” this painting has SOLD

The Ranch continues to draw me back. I am endlessly inspired by the shape of the land, the quality of the light, and, of course the surf.

“View from the Canyon” Hollister Ranch

Looking forward to the next occasion!

Many thanks to Bev and Kit Cossart!

Kit sells one his paintings to Jackson…

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Caroline Zimmermann at Lahaina Galleries

The End of Summer 2013’s most welcome news is my being taken on by Lahaina Galleries for representation. 

Callie Wray and her fantastic team at their Fashion Island gallery have made me feel most welcome.
My work has never been more beautifully displayed, I am honored to be included with such a great group of talented artists.

“Summer Evening Tide, Hollister Ranch” 16″x39″

I look forward to working with the Lahaina Ohana and greatly anticipate their upcoming events.
Click here to view my work at the gallery.
An introductory show on the 7th of December… check back for further details!

Return to the Festival of Arts

I’ve often thought of Life as flowing in a spiral current, even more so now as this summer I’ve found myself back in the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts. The decision to return was made on April 1st, and since that day I have been greatly anticipating exhibiting here once again.

I was honored to be given booth #3, one of the first exhibit spaces in the front of the show. This will be my 24th year as a Festival of Arts exhibitor, half of my summers have been spent here. This year, most notable was the change in my exhibit’s presentation:  An All Water Wall.

“Tahiti Cloud Sky” 11″x11″ tropical seascape oil painting

For the last 17 years I have been presenting my works from Tuscany. Many people  were stunned by the paintings, my most recent pieces from my travels in Bali, Tahiti, Maldives and Turkey.

It was great to see old friends, clients and acquaintances. I was sure to include some of my smaller works, those with antique frames and Tuscan landscapes.

The evening was as beautiful as it gets in Laguna Beach, the crowd lively  and dancing to the music. 

Of course my exhibit would not be complete without the presence of a Rooster….

“Turquoise Farm Rooster” 15″x15″ oil painting

New smaller tropical seascapes that comfort the soul and cool the mind.

“Water’s Edge” 7″x13″ tropical seascape oil painting

One of my “Coffee” trio found a good home that eve… but the two remaining are fabulous little pieces….

“Coffee” oil painting 9″x9″

If you are in the Laguna Beach area this summer, do stop by. The Festival runs from the 30th of June to the 3oth of August. The Pageant of the Masters is a must see as an 85 year Southern California tradition. For more information please see Festival of Arts, Pageant of the Masters. See you there!

Festival of Arts Facade 2011 Artwork by Caroline Zimmermann and Marlo Bartels
Photo: Tom Lamb

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Waves of Inspiration: Sunflowers

“Sunflower Wave” 40″x40″ oil painting

Sunflowers speak to me of happy and content memories in my family’s garden in Anaheim.

As a child, I would lose myself for hours helping my mother and father with their various tasks of tending their large backyard garden.The mild weather in Southern California made for a botanical paradise for my parents. Both are originally from Europe and they would marvel at the growing conditions as all seasons of the year brought forth their bounty.

Zimmermann Family, Anaheim California

A favorite in the garden was always the Sunflower. My father would recall how he and his family grew vast fields of sunflowers in the steppes of Romania for oil. He and his family would eat the seeds as a tasty snack and at age 84 he still enjoys growing them to this day.

MFA Show California College of the Arts, Oakland 1994

This history inspired the many Sunflower Portraits I created for my MFA show in 1994. The Sunflower perfectly defines the cycle of Life and Death, and the fascinating beauty of each phase. I created over 30 12×12 inch portraits of the flower in each stage of growth, and displayed them in grid form for my Master’s of Fine Arts show.

Two years after that I went to Tuscany for the first time and had my first glimpse of those European sunflower fields much like my father described to me from his childhood.And so began my creation of larger scale field paintings… waves of golds and greens…gorgeous swaths of texture and pattern. The blooming of a sunflower field is a sign that summer has indeed arrived.

“Song of the Sunflowers” oil painting

My search for Sunflower Inspirations has led me to the back country roads of Provence and Tuscany. Every field has its character and charm, every year is different. Helianthus Annuus is native to the Americas, worshipped by the natives as food source and sacred plant. Sunflower seeds were first introduced to Europe in the 16th century, where it was grown as a source of cooking oil.

“Girasole” in Italian, “Tournesol” in French…. both names describing a “country” myth; sunflowers do not turn with the daily passing of the sun.

In most fields the flowers do grow facing east; the morning sun. The immature flower heads do track the sun, so the concept is not entirely untrue.Heliotropism is the process that causes the plants to grow in a uniform alignment facing the sun.

“Siena Sunflowers” Tuscany oil painting

I can’t help but smile, at each flower’s “face” (technically called an inflorescence) has an individual character. Even with this “uniform alignment”, some flowers grow facing sideways…

“Sunflower for Susan” oil painting

Nature begets individuality…

This is a key to my painting sunflower fields: No two flowers are ever identical. For me, each flower takes on its personality.

“Sunflowers of the Luberon” oil painting

I’ve embraced Van Gogh’s divine madness for this flower. I’ll definitely continue to ride this wave of inspiration with my latest and largest  sunflower painting “Sunflower Wave”

Related: The Elusive Sunflower and Rare Antique Frames

See Caroline’s available Sunflower Paintings on her Virtual Gallery
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Waves of Inspiration: Hawaii

It was December, 1988. My board and bag were packed, and I had just won a $500 award from the City of Laguna Beach’s public arts competition. I was ready: it was my first trip to Hawaii and I was going by myself.

Off the plane: CZ’s first visit to Hawaii 1988

Not only did adventure await, but the course of my Life would be changed forever.

It was my first encounter with the South Pacific and the power of the Hawaiian swells. I’ll never forget seeing winter waves on the North Shore of Oahu for the first time. The sheer magnitude, mass and size of the waves are awesome sights… and definitely a Force to be reckoned with.

“North Shore Blue Wave” 36″x48″

All these years later I’m finally painting waves. It has taken so long, as Life brings me around to this subject, it’s not full circle, but more like a spiral. Last year I found myself painting water, just tranquil scenes of water. In a continuation of the theme, I’m challenging myself with moving water. But it’s not simply about water in movement, in these paintings I’m making waves.

On the other side of the world a breath of wind conspired with the sea to create this wave. A wave of energy that traveled through the waters, across many thousands of miles to arrive on the North Shore of Hawaii. And there, its energy dissipated, but its beauty and majesty was captured, by my friend and North Shore Photographer Bernie Baker.

“Wall of Water” Ke-Iki Beach, Oahu

Bernie has sent me numerous photos over the years that have tantalized my creative imagination. How many times had I seen these waves, surfing Sunset Beach, Mākaha, Bali, Tahiti.. how many times had I dreamed of them. With his photographs Bernie marks their passage in time.
In these paintings I’m not wanting to copy Bernie’s gifted and talented eye, or recreate his master photography with paint. Bernie has kindly let me use his images  as stepping stones of inspiration, and it’s been a fun and wonder-filled collaboration.

Queen’s

With these paintings I am able to reflect on my time spent in Hawaii….

Secret Spot, Lanai

The countless trips in Search of Surf…

“Yellow Hibiscus” 11″x14″

The precious times spent on the West Side with the people of Mākaha.

Yvon Chouinard, Rell Sunn, Sam George, Caroline Zimmermann
Mākaha, 1992

My incredible fortune to have befriended their “Queen”, Rell Sunn.

“Mākaha Red Hibiscus” 11″x14″

The Westside was magical, and drew me back time and time again.

“Mākaha Palm” oil painting 1995

Not just for the fabulous waves and beautiful views, but to spend time in the company of Rell.

CZ with Mākaha Royalty

Rell truly was Mākaha royalty, but in true Hawaiian Style, she held court in the most generous and big hearted way. She welcomed us, haole and outsiders, with open arms and open house.

Rell Sunn and the Westside Wahine
1994

Surfing Mākaha with the Wahine….the girls. I’d never surfed a spot where women made up 50% of the lineup, and at a serious break like Mākaha, the waves were not for the faint at heart. Somehow, with time and Rell’s benevolent graces, I was accepted.

photo: Bernie Baker

Over the course of four years I surfed some of the best waves of my Life, there at Mākaha.

“Mākaha” oil painting 1994

Truly, one of the greatest gifts my Life has given me was the time I spent with Rell.

CZ & Rell Sunn, Lanai

Rell’s death in 1998 from cancer left a huge gaping hole in all our lives. With the passing years I’ve been able to fill that emptiness with all the goodness and beauty in Surfing and the Sea.

“Plumeria for Rell” 1998

Every plumeria I paint, every hibiscus, and now every wave is an homage to Rell…

“Little Hula Heaven” oil painting 1998

Ka-polioka’ehukai: Heart of the Sea.

photo Dennis Oda
1983 Star-Bulletin photo of Rell Sunn.

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Winter Surf

Christmas Day 2012. No better way for me to celebrate the holidays than to get my head wet after months in Italy and away from my Pacific Ocean.

After visits with family, we headed North, to friends in Ventura… the surf looked fun enough to justify a quick go-out along the way.

Pitas Point at Low Tide. I have surfed here for years… its almost like a second home. On any given winter’s day, Rincon will be jammed with surfers, and the Ranch sometimes a bit too far to drive. Pitas never fails to provide joy, even at minus tide and a tiny winter swell…

 

… all the better with a sandbar that made for wickedly hollow little inside waves….

Too much fun! For me Winter is the absolute best time of year to surf in California. So many right breaks, less crowds, spectacular sunsets and no June Gloom.

I’m inspired by the skies of Winter, the tonal colors of the landscape and the peaceful introspective atmosphere. On so many occasions my surfing experiences have inspired some of my favourite paintings.

“West of the Gate, Hollister Ranch”

Just me, a few birds and a body boarder… and a whole lot of gratitude to be out in the water on Christmas Day.

“Sunrise at Bulito Beach” Hollister Ranch

from the archives: Caroline and The Duke, Bishop Museum,
Honolulu, Hawaii

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